J.J. Cale, who wrote “Cocaine” and “After Midnight” for Eric Clapton, died Friday.
Zennie62 posted this video obituary:
“Born and raised in Oklahoma where he started playing music as Johnny Cale, he moved to Los Angeles in the mid-60s, where he was encouraged by Whiskey A Go Go owner Elmer Valentine to start using the initials JJ to avoid confusion with the Velvet Underground’s John Cale,” says Variety.
The New York Times remembers him as “a musician and songwriter whose blues-inflected rock influenced some of the genre’s biggest names and whose songs were recorded by Eric Clapton and Johnny Cash.”
“Neil Young, Mark Knopfler, Bryan Ferry and Clapton all cited Mr. Cale as an influence,” says the Washington Post obit, “and critic Geoffrey Himes wrote in The Washington Post in 1983 that Mr. Cale’s ‘superb guitar leads — which other guitarists study faithfully — are so thoroughly woven into the fabric that one has to mentally unravel the songs to identify what miracles Cale is working.'”
Cale’s work was also recorded by the Allman Brothers, Tom Petty, Santana, The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Captain Beefheart.
“I’d probably be selling shoes today if it wasn’t for Eric,” Cale said, according to The Guardian, in 2006.In this video, J.J. Cale performs “Cocaine” in Holland (some years ago):
Great song, but my personal favorite is “The Problem,” which I first heard on a Paste magazine sampler. You can listen to “The Problem” here.